TUESDAY’S LETTERS: Pulitzer Plaudits for ‘Times-Pic,’ Plus Reaction to ‘My Pet Goat’ — The Sequel

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By: E&P Staff

Dozens of readers wrote in with their reaction to Hurricane Katrina and the media coverage of the disaster and relief efforts. Many more wrote in reaction to Greg Mitchell’s editorial, ‘My Pet Goat’ — The Sequel. But first, plaudits for the New Orleans Times-Picayune.


A Pulitzer For the Times- Picayune?

Multiple, multiple Pulitzers and journalism awards to the Times-Picayune, but more importantly than that, the highest humanitarian honors and respect go to their brave and responsible staff. This is beyond good journalism, this is service to mankind. And good for the New York Times for mentioning it as should have been mentioned days ago.

The Times-Picayune will have taken an enormous financial hit and could use “tribute subscriptions” starting as soon as they can take them. (Now perhaps is not the moment to tax their lines — send regular mail.) Just subscribe and indicate in bold letters “DON’T MAIL IT TO ME, KEEP THE MONEY. GOOD JOB.”

Lynn Wasson
Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine
Fort Smith, Ark.


I wonder if we will be allowed to photograph the coffins of those who have died because of the ineptness of the Bush administration?

Joseph E. Wiles
Winter Haven, Fla.


I was preparing to send a substantial donation for Hurricane Katrina relief in New Orleans. But after Democratic U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu’s vicious attack on the President for problems that are her fault and the fault of New Orleans and Louisiana state officials, I am going to send nothing….zero…nada….zip. Let her spend her own money to take care of her constituents along with the Schumers, Kennedy’s and their ilk.

Jim Baughman


Thank you. Finally a media story that tells it like it is. This administration continues to show its disdain and disregard for people not in their inner circle or as Bush refers to them, “the haves and the have mores — my base.” An excellent article — too bad it probably won’t change a thing. The vast majority of Americans seem to be in a twilight zone of complete denial or just too busy worrying about the next “American Idol” or “Survivor” winner to recognize the most frightening reality show of all. If ever there was cause to impeach a President, we have more than enough with Bush — incompetence, ineptitude, dereliction of duty, lying, misuse of resources … the list goes on. As Bush is so fond of saying, may God bless us all.

Wanda Nicholson
Raleigh, N.C.


Thanks for your dereliction of duty piece. It was spot on. I’ve been watching the news and it looks like some of your colleagues in the broadcast media have finally grown a pair. Too little too late. Just think if they had staked out the war the way they staked out New Orleans.

I am so sorry to see the tragedy. Everyone I know up here in Toronto is heartbroken and horrified. Wish we could do more.

Trish Wood

Ed’s Note: Donations to help victims of Hurricane Katrina can be sent to the American Red Cross or any other number of charitable organizations.


Regarding that left-winged article, which typifies everything Democrats have to say about Bush — it’s always a negative “coulda, woulda, shoulda” after the facts. Let’s just blame Bush for everything. New Orleans has been living with the threat of disaster for 30 years, so it really comes as no surprise that this tragedy occurred.

As for that article, it’s a bunch of crap. What an insult to think that Bush is having a nice little vacation and Condi is more interested in shopping for shoes. Meanwhile, you would be better suited coming up with constructive advice rather than negative criticism. Ah, the glass is always half empty for you journalists. You are obviously on the side of the “Party of No.”

Karen Anderson


Thank you, Mr. Mitchell. That the spokesmodels and stenographers who have been passing themselves off as journalists would read it and come to their senses and acknowledge their responsibilities to this country…it would be a new day.

Jill Davis
Santa Barbara, Calif.


Thank you for your piece. I completely agree with your statements. On a picky note, I feel compelled to point out that the story being read in Booker Elementary that morning was not “My Pet Goat” but “The Pet Goat” contained in the book “Reading Mastery II: Storybook 1,” by Siegfried Engelmann and Elaine C. Bruner (ISBN 0026863553). The book is part of the 31-volume Reading Mastery series published by the SRA Macmillan early-childhood education division of McGraw-Hill.

Diana Powe
Richardson, Texas

Ed’s Note: The letter-writer’s source can be found here.


Excellent editorial. You guys have led the way in frank, insightful coverage of this latest federal debacle.

Something most people seem to have forgotten though, was that besides the Pet Goat episode, Bush was MIA for three days after 9/11 before he reappeared in public at the World Trade Center. I clearly remember thinking back then, as I thought this week, “Where the hell is Bush?” I remember so clearly because we were waiting for word of my cousin, who was killed in the atrocity.

Cathleen Bemis


Sen. Mary Landrieu, Gov. Blanco, and Ray Nagin, all elected officials for New Orleans, and the state of Louisiana, can dish it out, but cannot take it. They point the finger at the federal government, but fail to notice their own lack of leadership and purpose to serve and protect their citizens. Why is it not widely reported that Pres. Bush had to plead with Mayor Nagin to evacuate his city? Why didn’t the mayor, the senator, and the governor have the poor citizens of New Orleans evacuated using city and commercial buses? To top it all off, Landrieu, a politico right down to the wire of a devastating crisis, threatens to punch my President! Who in the hell does she think she is that she can threaten the President?

Claire Larson
Oviedo, Fla.


Re: AP Stands by Caption in ‘Looting’ Photo Controversy

Our communications majors are not what they were. Even a math nerd like yours truly can come up with alternatives like “survivors foraging for
salvageable staples” or “foragers salvaging abandoned supplies.”

Windsor Wilder Jr.
Olympia, Wash.


Re: Barbara Bush: Things Working Out ‘Very Well’ for Poor Evacuees from New Orleans

This points out, more eloquently than anything anyone else could say, how completely out of touch this family is with the real America. No wonder this president has “no clue.”

Hellen Hodges Hoffman
Lake Worth, Fla.


What everybody seems to forget is that disaster planning and implementation are primarily a local and state responsibility. The mayor and city council in New Orleans were totally derelict in their responsibilities in this regard. There obviously was not proper planning, preparations, and protocols in place before the disaster. Granted, the levees were not designed or intended to survive more than a category 3 hurricane. New Orleans made a fool’s bet with Mother Nature and lost.

Be that as it may, protocols should have been in place for a mandatory evacuation of the city in the event of any hurricane above a category 3. Unlike the tsunami victims who had no warning, the gulf knew for days what was coming and failed to act. To now blame President Bush or the federal government is ridiculous. Legally, the federal government could not intercede until they were invited to do so by the governors of the states. Let us hope that they are all thrown out of office at the first opportunity, starting with the mayor of New Orleans, and some of them charged with negligent homicide.

John H. Krogstad


Double-check the Double Major

Re: Lyle Lovett’s J-School Days

Lyle Lovett had a double major at Texas A&M University: Journalism and German. It took him four years to complete the Journalism major and he returned for one more semester (I don’t believe it was an entire year) to complete the requirements to graduate with his second degree in German. How do I know? I was working in the Dean’s Office in the College of Liberal Arts/Student Records and Mr. Lovett was a more than occasional visitor. He was unforgettable even back then — yes, the hair but also the always present guitar. Plus, he was consistently quiet and polite.

Double-check the facts. You will find I am correct.

Liz Taylor
Houston, Texas

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